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Why Your Kids Should Be Working This Summer

Why Your Kids Should Be Working This Summer
Credit: swprod/Shutterstock

If you want your kid to grow to be successful, make them get a part-time job this summer, new research suggests.

By developing early knowledge of the working world, teens are more likely to find good employment and earn more money in the future, according to a study from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.

Marc-David Seidel, a Sauder professor and co-author of the study, said that many parents may hesitate to encourage their kids to get a summer job because they think that they could do better than working at a local fast-food restaurant.

"But our study shows even flipping burgers has value — particularly if it leads to part-time work later during [the] school term," Seidel said in a statement.

The researchers discovered that teens in part-time jobs progress to better-suited careers since the early exposure to work helps them hone their preferences. Additionally, they improve their soft skills, acquire better references and learn how to job hunt more successfully, which helps them establish a wider career network.

Seidel said the more hours that 15-year-olds work, particularly during the school year when they have to learn to manage their time, the better their career prospects are. The study revealed that the teenagers benefited from working up to as much as 33 hours per week during the school year or 43 hours during the summer.

The researchers came to their conclusions after analyzing data from a survey of Canadian teenagers. The survey looked at the teenagers' work history, starting at age 15 in 1999 and ending at age 25 in 2009.

"Adolescent labor has been stigmatized as exploitative, with many parents opting to put their kids in summer camp rather than summer jobs," Seidel said. "However, our research shows that working can offer educational and developmental opportunities that prepare adolescents for the real world."

The study, co-authored by Sauder Ph.D. student Marjan Houshmand and Sauder Commerce Scholar alumnus Dennis Ma, appears in the latest edition of the Research in the Sociology of Work journal.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.